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Mount for 5in APO

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#1 Solozo

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 12:20 PM

I am looking for a sturdy AZ mount with slow motion controls to use on my modular portable pier by Epsilon, for my 5in APO scope.

Recommendations are highly appreciated.

Thanks, and clear skies.
Solomon

#2 JoeM101

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 01:48 PM

You might want to consider looking at the T-Rex, a little pricey, but i imagine that the 5" APO cost about the same... heavy duty mount with all the bells and whistles.

clear skies and good luck...

#3 edl

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:19 PM

Check out the Nova Hitch from halfhitchtelescope. I've been using the Quarter Hitch with my 130/780 and it's been a great grab and go setup!

Best,
Ed L.

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#4 Adam Taylor

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:37 PM

DSV-3 ?

#5 elwaine

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 10:19 PM

Another vote for the T-REX.

I have one and I love it. I use it with my A-P 130mm EDF GT and also with my C9.25. The slow motion controls are wonderful - smooth and super easy to use. But you can also disengage the slow motion clutches and simply push the scope if you so desire.

I had a Discmount 4 that I used with a 4" refractor (an A-P Traveler). It is a very fine mount but lacks slow motion controls. It also lacks clutches that can be easily tightened or loosened by finger touch. With the T-REX, with the clutches engaged, the object of interest remains in the F.O.V. when switching observers... a very big plus for out reach or just sharing the night sky with friends.

I also had a Quarter Hitch that I used with a 4" refractor and with a 6" Mak. That is also a nice mount, but quite sensitive to external motion. I.e., the slightest touch and it knocked the target out of the viewing field... quite annoying when trying to share views with others. In fact, that is the main reason i sold it. Plus the slow motion controls were difficult to use - poorly positioned and could not be locked down sufficiently.

Yes, the T-REX is expensive, but you get what you pay for. It is rock steady, can be used as a "push" mount the way one uses a DiscMount, a half hitch, a Giro, etc., but is most enjoyable when using the slow motion controls. The T-REX is a high precision mount. IMHO, it is to Alt-Az mounts what the A-P 900 is to GEMs.

Posted Image

The ends of the slow motion control cables are cut off in the above photo.

Posted Image

In this photo, you can see the Argo Navis DSC (Digital Setting Circles), but my SkyFi unit is hidden behind the Argo Navis. The SkyFi wirelessly connects the Argo Navis data to the Sky Safari Pro software app on my iPad. This is one slick combination and makes it extremely easy to find objects and a lot of fun to explore the best objects in the sky during an observation session.

(I usually do not keep the TAK FS-60C mounted, as shown. In it's place I usually mount a Dew Buster control unit. The tripod is a Losmandy G11 with a cut down extension.)

Regards,

#6 crazyqban

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 10:57 PM

Nice setup Larry.

#7 Lane

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 11:55 PM

The issue I have with the suggestions above is the cost. It would be a WHOLE lot cheaper to get an LX80 which should be able to handle the 5" easily. It does GOTO, it is compatible with Sky Safari/iPad, and also tracks the object after you find it. Of course getting your hands on an LX80 is a little problematic.

#8 JoeM101

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:51 AM

Lane: you could buy 2 and half LX80's for the price of a T-Rex :lol: but i digress, they all have their pros and cons... been reading a few threads on the LX80, not without it's own issues.. but generally speaking, quite the mount for the price no doubt!

#9 elwaine

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 08:28 AM

The issue I have with the suggestions above is the cost. It would be a WHOLE lot cheaper to get an LX80 which should be able to handle the 5" easily. It does GOTO, it is compatible with Sky Safari/iPad, and also tracks the object after you find it. Of course getting your hands on an LX80 is a little problematic.


Cost... yes, that can be a real bummer, and your point is well taken. However, "cheap is dear." (That's an old folk's expression meaning that lower priced items have their own costs... in aggravation, in lost time, in limited life span, in not quite getting the job done the way you want it, etc.) My experience also leads me to think that a mount that can do everything (simple alt-az non-motorized operation or motorized goto operation, and can carry either single or multiple scopes) will most likely do what it is advertised to do - but will not do any one of those tasks very well. But I hope that the LX 80 proves me wrong this time.

I have owned a simple Meade clock drive (tracking only) mount, both Meade and a Celestron goto fork drives; an Astro-Physics 400 (non- goto), an A-P 600E GTO, an A-P 1200 Goto, a Mini-cube, the original iEQ-45, a DiscMount-4, a Quarter Hitch, a Giro, and a T-REX. All have their pro's and con's. But the more costly mounts were always a pleasure to use and the less costly (I don't want to call them cheap) mounts were always less than a pleasure to use... and often down right aggravating at times.

The lessons I have learned over the years are these:
1. Never buy the first new model of anything. Let others try them out before you spend your own money.
2. Always be skeptical of reports based on the first week or the first few months of use. Wait at least a year before you trust reviews.
3. Always buy the best mount you can afford, and if you have to cut back on the amount of money you spend on either the telescope you want or the mount you want, cut back on the amount you spend on the telescope and buy the better mount.

The last item, above, is the one piece of advice that most inexperienced folks ignore... over and over again.

I love goto mounts, but when I do not do astrophotography, I have no need of the tracking feature of goto mounts. As far as pointing ability, I can point to a target faster with my T-REX (set up with digital setting circles) than one can get to the target with a goto mount... and it's quiet, requires no external power supplies, takes less than 2 minutes (literally) to align the mount - no arduous polar alignment needed - and there is very little that can go wrong with it. If you have never used a quality alt-az mount, you should try one. Sometimes simpler truly is better - sometimes not... all depends on what your goals are.

Regards,

#10 JoeM101

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 09:15 AM

Larry: i couldn't agree with you more, case in point, last night i started out eager to observe, setup my "less expensive" LXD55, started to polar align "Kocab clock method" went to do a 3 star, after slewing to the first star, hit the mount with my knee, #@$!#, started over, polar aligned using 1 star this time, noticed the Dec wasn't moving now, realized the gears slipped and unmeshed (mustn't have put the motor mount on properly after the Kocab clock method, undid the motor mount, dropped the allen key, took two steps back, counted to 60, not 10, 60, took several very deep breaths, found the allen key on hands and knees with red light (not easy let me tell you) proceeded to put it all back together, did the 1 star, slewed to Arcturus, back to Polaris, back to Arcturus, etc etc, finally achieved good alignment, and to my absolute disgust, a thin layer of status clouds began rolling in from the west.. called to mind my daughters' fav expression when insult is added to injury... OMG!! packed it all up and went to bed without a minute of joy... i remember a simpler time when I would just get out, setup my manual mount sit and observe, slowly scan the sky and hunt for DSOs, no DSC, no computer, no power, just pure Amish style stargazing... (not sure if they use telescopes, but you get the jist of it)

I am now looking for a decent Alt/Az that i can slap some encoders on (i do love my tech now) but simple aided pointing with slowmo control... no need for goto or nogo for visual, though when it works, it works well and with a good planetarium software (i use Stellarium controlling my mount) you can decide what you want to see and see it fast enough..

anyhow, there you have it

clear skies and lots of patience

#11 elwaine

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 10:06 AM

I am now looking for a decent Alt/Az that i can slap some encoders on (i do love my tech now) but simple aided pointing with slowmo control... no need for goto or nogo for visual...


Joe, that was a funny (and all too familiar) story. :)

For your SV102ED/AT72ED scopes, if you can swing it, I can think of no better mount to accomplish what you want than a DiscMount-4. The DM-4 head alone is $800 - plus an additional $170 for the encoders - but you can sometimes buy one for less on the aftermarket. Add a Sky Commander or a JMI NGC and you will have an easy to use, very steady mount for your refractors. You can adjust the tension to hold your scopes in place, without worrying about losing your target when the mount is bumped a little and without the need to re-balance when you switch between heavy and lite weight eyepieces, and still get very smooth motion in both axes.

Use can almost certainly use your current tripod... maybe need an adapter - I'm not sure.

What makes the DM-4 so sweet, and a plus over the T-REX (besides costs) is that the DM-4 weighs only about 5 lbs. The T-REX weighs about 22 lbs. and is not exactly grab and go - more like a grunt and go. :)

#12 orlyandico

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 10:27 AM

I'll weigh in with the cheapo option (doesn't work for a 5" but will work for an SV80/SV102) - an old Vixen Polaris.

You can use it in equatorial mode or alt-az mount, it's cheap (probably under $200) and the slo-mo controls are sweet. 144-tooth RA gear just like the Great Polaris.

#13 JoeM101

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 12:06 PM

The DM-4 looks good, but really want/need those slomo controls... won't accept anything less at that price ;) but i will say this much, absolutely loooove that T-Rex, looks like a killer mount!

#14 elwaine

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 12:40 PM

The DM-4 looks good, but really want/need those slomo controls... won't accept anything less at that price ;) but i will say this much, absolutely loooove that T-Rex, looks like a killer mount!


Well, Joe, you should take a hint from the fact that I sold my DM-4 and bought the T-REX... for basically the same reason you alluded to. Slo-Mo, especially at high magnification, is the only way to fly in an Alt-Az mount... IMHO, anyway. The T-REX is my favoriteAlt-Az mount. My A-P 1200 GoTo was my favor goto mount. The quality and ease of use of both are fairly equal... and they are both expensive in their respective categories.

It's a shame that quality costs a lot. ;) But then again, when I was working, I wanted to get paid top dollar for the services I rendered. :grin:

#15 JoeM101

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 12:53 PM

I hear you Larry, while i do get paid well, or rather i did when the Euro was at it's peak and the US dollar was solid... i now have to settle with what i can get for my dollar and find myself juggling between 2 mortgages, 3 kids, food (humans and pets), bills, tuition, etc etc etc... ugh...

anyone want to donate a T-Rex to a worthy amateur??? anyone???

EDIT: guess not :bawling:

#16 Mkofski

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 06:16 PM

The Candian Telescope's "Duo T" with a tripod is less than half the price of the LX80 and works great. Has slo-mo. I had a SkyTee 2 that I loved but am replacing it with an LX80.

#17 Solozo

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 02:05 PM

Thanks guys. The T-Rex sounds like the ultimate. Cost is a big issue, but money could be saved for. DM-4 is attractive, simple , rigid and stable, but no slow motion controls.

#18 JoeM101

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 02:31 PM

i agree with MKofski though, the Canadian Telescope DUO seems like an awesome mount for the price

#19 gnowellsct

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 04:55 PM

For a 5" that is light weight, this could work.

http://www.astromart...?article_id=710

GN

#20 JoeM101

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 08:45 PM

For a 5" that is light weight, this could work.

http://www.astromart...?article_id=710

GN

not a light weight by any standard, 2 x 15Kg (33lbs) scopes != lightweight, seriously? it's capable of handling 66 lbs!

clear skies!

#21 EdTheEdge

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:56 PM

I routinely use my 127ED with my Super Polaris on a CG-5 tripod. It's a wonderful slo mo combo. I tried it in Alt Az mode for about a day before I went back to GEM mode.






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